How To Start A Reading Journal

How To Start A Reading Journal – One of the best things to happen in my reading life was a book magazine. I get a lot of satisfaction from finishing a book and recording it on my tracker. Not only is it a great way to document my reading and goals from year to year, seeing books listed on one page has helped me read more and try new genres.

While you may find it easier to keep track of your reading in something easily searchable (like a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, or a website like Goodreads), there’s something really special about a physical, paper journal. Not only is it very personal, you can also get really creative with it.

How To Start A Reading Journal

How To Start A Reading Journal

If you are customizing a magazine, now is the time to decide which review format works for you. It can be as detailed or as simple as you want – whatever helps you keep track of it.

How To Jazz Up Your Journals With Items From The Shop — Color Cast Designs

Special pages are fun ways to track other reading-related activities or ideas. In addition to keeping your current reading, you can also make room for things like:

Above is an example of a fun way to track readings for specific challenges. I built the bookshelf into a large, empty notebook. Each of the 52 books on the shelf is finally filled by reading my 52 Book Club – 2020 challenge.

Below is an example of a habit tracker or reading log. This is a fun extra page to keep in your journal because it allows you to quickly see how often you read (and for how long). It’s a great motivator to sneak in a few extra minutes of reading wherever you can!

There are many types of specialty pages to choose from. Find what works for you and have fun with it!

Reasons Why You Should Start A Reading Journal Right Now — On Book Street

Don’t forget to think about what type of pen you will use in your new journal. Different tips, color types or colors can go a long way to creating the perfect book journal. Here are some of my personal favorites:

This is just one of the many different types of book journals and reading trackers available. Find out what works

Have any other book journal recommendations! Be sure to share your suggestions, tips or ideas with other readers in the comments! This month, I sat down to sort out my 2020 book journal and realized that I’ve been book journaling for three years. I still feel very new to this, and I change my process all the time. But I wanted to share what I’ve learned along the way and all the fun tools to make your stationery lovers heart happy.

How To Start A Reading Journal

The last thing I want to do is pressure you into feeling like you have to add another thing to your life if it doesn’t bring you joy or improve your reading life. I’ve always been a pen person. I have dozens of journals in storage tabs, dating back to my teenage years. Starting a book journal was a natural progression for me, after I read about the Anne Bogle trial about the modern Mrs. Darcy.

Reading Journal Books To Read Reading Log Book Review

I am writing to: those who are already journalists and are looking for other ideas; Those just starting out who need a starting point; And people who play with the idea and want a little push in the right direction.

There are many different reasons you might want to have a book journal: to track your reading, to complete and skip a book list, to note the books you want to read, and probably even more than I can think of. You may have all of these reasons, or none of them. But it is useful to have that in mind before you start, because it will help you know what to follow and what not to bother.

I’m going to look at it a little differently – instead of giving you how to start a journal, I’m going to walk you through three years of my reading journal. I show you what it looks like in the beginning, all, the pages I tried, and what I’m doing now – and all the tools that make it happen.

Let’s be honest – pens and notebooks are a big reason I love journaling. I love the physical act of putting my ideas on paper, adding colors, crossing the tasks and adding a fun twist to a boring plan.

What I Track In My Reading Bullet Journal!

Most of the writing you’ll see in the following posts was done with my beloved Pilot Precision V5 RT pen. It writes easily, doesn’t smudge and can be refilled with a new color at the end. In my opinion, this is a perfect pen.

I also use felt tip liners, calligraphy pens and pencils. The pencils I use come from CW Pencil Enterprises, a wonderful pencil store in New York City that I visited in the summer of 2019. I placed an order of them online. If you’re new to pencils, try their Pen Lover sample set to get started.

I also use many other materials to organize my journal publication. Consider the accessories to the crime…

How To Start A Reading Journal

In 2017, I started my journal of the number of books I read, due dates and my thoughts. The colored boxes indicate the genre, and the blue bar at the top is the books read throughout the year.

How I Use A Bullet Journal To Track My Reading

At the end of the year, I added the star rating and the start and end date. But I’m a little tired of writing reviews while posting ideas to Instagram and Goodreads. It made sense to chart the same data in multiple places.

I also added some follow-up pages for the series I want to finish (because it’s so annoying not to remember which book is next and spend time googling and accidentally getting confused) and the mystery series I wanted to try.

In 2018, I started the Unred Shelf project on Instagram. I changed things up again with a reading goals sheet. I listed my shopping goals, my reading schedule, and series and authors to tackle.

I also started tracking the books I received in 2018, with the goal of reading them all by the end of the year. Apparently not!

My Reading Adventures

Another tracking sheet I added was a graph to show the number of books read each year, with blue showing fiction and green showing non-fiction.

Just for fun personal reference: My husband and I lived in Cambodia from 2011-2014, and my first child was born in 2014 while we were there. My daughter was born in 2017. I just love to see that children don’t necessarily make you read less, but it definitely makes me read more fiction.

Fast forward to 2019 – I was a little tired of writing reviews in my journal and posting Goodreads reviews and Instagram reviews on every book. So I decided to cut the journal entries and just keep a running list of all the details that are important to me:

How To Start A Reading Journal

That’s a lot of data, and somehow I fit it all into one line of my journal—and that’s what I want to know about every book I read.

Create And Then Personalise The Journal!

I also revamped a page that I’ve used lightly since 2017 but really dug in 2019 – my stat tracking page. I like to group all my books by genre, author, etc. I lost the books I got in the middle of the year. Nothing is perfect!

I changed my monthly tracking to record books completed, received and disposed of. But I lost momentum in the last few months of the year. I think for me, if I follow a lot of things in a lot of places, I can’t keep up with it all.

I only keep a few simple tracking logs: books read, unread books received (I don’t keep track of books I’ve read and liked), books abandoned, and book club picks – as well as my stat tracker and unread shelf project selection .

All the above pages were started at the front of my journal and filled in one after the other.

Start A Reading Journal For 2023

The following pages were started at the back of my journal – not the best method, but it allowed me to fill the journal back without breaking my monthly spread.

I list bookstores I want to visit, book award winners, advanced reader copies received from publishers, and quotes to remember.

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You have now taken the most in-depth look at my reading journal that anyone has ever seen.

How To Start A Reading Journal

I hope this was helpful to you, whether you are an experienced book journalist or just starting out. I want to show you that there is no perfect way to journal, and that it’s okay to keep experimenting with your process. Every year, my reading life changes, and I want my journal to reflect that.

Illumicrate Bookish Reading Journal & Weekly Yearly Planner (hardcover), Hobbies & Toys, Books & Magazines, Fiction & Non Fiction On Carousell

And I can also say, it is worth the work. It’s incredibly satisfying to look back on three years worth of book lists and see how I’ve grown and what amazing books I’ve finished. I guarantee you that a year from now you will wish you had started today.

If you keep a journal, I’d love to hear your process and how you do it differently. Leave a comment below

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